South Dakota Winter January 17, 2020
by Annie Tens Of Thousands Of Snow Geese Invade The City Of Pierre In South Dakota Every Winter And It’s A Sight To Be Seen
When you hail from the Mount Rushmore State, geese are not an unusual sight and become somewhat a nuisance after a while. However, whether you are a native or not, there is still something jaw-dropping about the spectacle of tens of thousands of these winged animals making their descent at once, which is exactly what we will see in the next few months.
It's that time of year again, central SoDak! No, I'm not talking about taking down the Christmas trees at the Capitol or massive snowstorms, but rather the annual migration of tens of thousands of snow geese making their trip north.
Consisting of both white and dark morphs, snow geese are native to North America, and typically breed in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland but spend the cold winter months in both south central states and Mexico.
Please note: Breeding grounds are depicted in blue with the wintering grounds in red.
Returning to nest in the Arctic tundra come spring, snow geese return north via the Central Flyway, which includes the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and - you guessed it - South Dakota.
In addition to seeing these tens of thousands of waterfowl in Pierre,
South Dakota State News reports that these ample flocks can be spotted elsewhere, too, citing the southern South Dakota border as well.
According to a March 2008 article from the
Star Tribune, Lake Preston is another sure bet for spotting snow geese, with a visiting Minnesotan saying the sight of them taking flight at once was "alone was worth the trip."
Sadly, recent years have brought an influx of the snow goose population, so in an effort to control the numbers and to prevent any more harm on the Arctic tundra (reportedly caused by the birds), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a Conservation Order stating an unlimited amount may be hunted around South Dakota between February 16th and May 5th.
Despite the Conservation Order and increased hunting, you can still expect to see more snow geese this winter than ever before!
Do you enjoy these wintertime visitors? Let us know in the comments! For even more wildlife fun in SoDak, check out
The One-Of-A-Kind South Dakota Wildlife Park That Is Perfect For A Day Trip.
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Address: Pierre, SD 57501, USA